Mental Health Awareness: Creating a Healthy Relationship with Social Media
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so I wanted to do a series on all the things I do as an entrepreneur to keep my mental health in check.
So many of our mental health struggles stem from an inability to stay present and recognize the good in the Now. Social media takes us out of that present moment, and if we spend a lot of time in this world inside our phones it can take a toll on our mental health.
Creating a healthy relationship with social media has been a constant battle for me. Those apps are created to be addicting to scroll endlessly, there’s nothing wrong with you if you struggle to get off your phone. There are entire businesses based around trying to get you to keep scrolling! The best we can do, if social media is something we want to keep in our lives is to build barriers around it to keep our relationship with it in check.
Be VERY selective about who you follow. I like to follow only people who’s content teaches me something or makes me genuinely happy.
Utilize apps and timers. If these work for you, great! There’s plenty of apps and the iPhone timer that reminds you that your time is up for the day for the apps you’ve selected. Unfortunately for me, my brain just pushes it’s way past those barriers because usually there’s a way for you to override these timers. If anyone has found one that’s difficult for you to get through, let me know!
Don’t sleep with your phone by your bed. Sleep is important! And scrolling through your phone, with the blue light shining inches away from your face while lying in the dark is really bad for your eyes and your circadian rhythm. Waking up and scrolling first thing in the morning is just not the best way to start your day. I got myself a Hatch alarm clock and have a charging station in my little office area where I try to keep my phone at night.
Delete the apps. Sometimes we need to get rid of the temptation entirely. I like to delete my apps whenever I can. Sometimes this is for a dinner with friends, a night, a weekend, a week, or even a few months if I feel like I’ve completely lost control over my relationship with it. This always resets my perspective around it and forces me recognize how often I find myself subconsciously looking for those apps.
Okay now put your phone down or close your laptop. Spend some time in this moment right now. In your space, in your body, in your mind. No external distractions or stimulations. Just be here now and notice the good in the present moment.